The ‘Buy Regional' campaign was announced in Sydney last week by Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, Minister for Small Business Damien Tudehope, and renowned chef Matt Moran.
Minister Barilaro said Buy Regional is an online hub that showcases regional shops and sellers together in one place, to make it easy for shoppers to find the perfect Christmas gift and support regional NSW.
"Everywhere I go people tell me about the images they've seen and the stories they've heard of how drought is affecting people in the bush and that they want to do something to help, but they're not sure how," Minister Barilaro said.
"Every dollar you spend with a regional retailer or producer helps keep that small business afloat, supports jobs in that town and gets money flowing through the local economy, which is exactly what is needed while we wait for the drought to break."
The hub already features businesses from some of the hardest hit areas of the state, including Broken Hill, Coonamble, Inverell and White Cliffs.
The Buy Regional hub is divided into six categories, Wine, Fashion, Food, Gifts for Kids, Art & Design, and Christmas hampers, to help shoppers easily find gifts for that special someone.
Founder of #BuyFromTheBush Grace Brennan, said she turned to social media to help businesses find new customers outside of their drought-stricken communities and was amazed when the number of followers skyrocketed from zero to 26,000 in eight days.
"This all started as a hashtag on social media but it's become so powerful because it's a simple way for people in the city who want to spend their money in the bush to see beautiful things they like and buy them," Ms Brennan said.
"It just shows that there are so many people out there who want to help and it's incredible that in such a short space of time that so many regional businesses are making connections with shoppers in the city and some have even sold out of stock."
Chef Matt Moran, ambassador of #Thankful4Farmers, said in lieu of drought breaking rain, farmers across regional NSW need the support of the grocery buying public.
"As a fourth generation farmer I know firsthand the blood, sweat and tears that goes into producing our food during times of drought and every product purchased will show our farming and rural communities how much they are valued ," Moran said.
The Buy Regional for Christmas hub is at: www.nsw.gov.au/buyregional